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I CAN HAS DISHEZ?

July 30, 2008, 3:12 PM

You have to admit, with this being my kitchen week at the office, that this is a cute way to announce that the dishwasher will be running soon…

Lolcat dishes

Yes, the concept of the Lolcat is alive and well. I got the original image from Gumuz on Flickr, and then lolcatted it up using the Lolcat Translator.

Categories: Netculture, Work

Chris Core, part of commentary and analysis on WTOP radio…

July 29, 2008, 3:06 PM

As you may remember, Chris Core was let go from WMAL as part of a round of layoffs by Citadel Broadcasting back on February 29 of this year. Since then, Core seems to have landed on his feet, as he now works as a guest host on POTUS ’08 on XM Satellite Radio, as well as a featured commentator on WTOP, a local FM radio station that provides news and comment, where Core has a daily one-minute commentary segment called “Core Values”.

I’m not a subscriber to XM, so I can’t speak about Core’s performance on POTUS ’08. However, I did find the WTOP podcast, and have been listening to it for some months now. That’s the Chris Core we all know and love, talking about national issues at times, and also talking about local issues. But there’s something missing. “Core Values”, by design, is very one-sided. One of Chris Core’s strong points was his interactions with callers. Core knew many of his repeat callers well, and very often it was a wonderful place for the community to discuss the local issues of the DC area.

This is why I so wish Chris Core had a three-hour show again. While it’s great to hear him on the radio again, I miss the interactions. The one-sided “Core Values” segment is all right, but he needs a full show again. Perhaps he’ll eventually find a home on WWWT, aka “3WT”, an all-talk station owned by the same company that owns WTOP. That would be optimal. I’d hate for the lion’s share of Core’s talent to be on satellite radio. He needs to be back on a DC-area station again, talking about local issues full-time.

I guess you could say that having The Chris Core Show or something similar to it back on the air talking about local issues… is a Core value.

Categories: Radio

Nylon straps? Ummmmmm…

July 29, 2008, 8:03 AM

Here’s Metro’s latest innovation on their rail cars:

Nylon straps on Rohr 1127

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Categories: WMATA

Scientologists don’t scare me!

July 21, 2008, 7:10 PM

I finally got the opportunity to scan the letter, and so here is the Church of Scientology’s effort to try and silence me, reprinted here in its entirety:

Scientology letter, Page 1

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Categories: Project Chanology

Metro on speed?

July 20, 2008, 11:53 AM

This is perhaps the weirdest thing I’ve heard come out of Metro’s door speakers ever:

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Categories: WMATA

“Ask me why I’m NOT wearing a mask!”

July 18, 2008, 10:06 PM

After the final day of Plone training at American University, I rode down to Dupont Circle – not to go to the office, mind you. Anonymous was holding a “flash raid” ahead of tomorrow’s “Over 9000 Anon March” in front of the Lincoln Memorial. That usually involves a handful of people in Guy Fawkes masks or other kinds of masks protesting Scientology. They’re called “flash raids” because they’re quick and often called on very short notice.

So leaving the house this morning, I grabbed a hat and a bandanna and stuck it in my bag for the flash raid. However, I had a revelation around 2:00. What’s the point of my masking up for this one? The reason why participants in Anonymous wear masks in the first place is to protect against the Church of Scientology’s practicing Fair Game on them by concealing their identity. However, I received the cease-and-desist letter from the Church of Scientology’s lawyers. So they know about me. I’m “outed”. They know I’m part of Anonymous. So what’s the point of masking up? I didn’t see one, so the bandanna and hat stayed packed.

I also got to take a moment to celebrate my cease-and-desist letter with another anon who goes by “Heidi”, who also got a cease-and-desist letter. Same law firm, and same letter except for the last two paragraphs. And we had a quick strategizing session on how to capitalize on that. What we came up with was a little play on the classic Anonymous sign that reads, “Ask me why I’m wearing a mask.” We went unmasked, and our signs said, “Ask me why I’m NOT wearing a mask.” Check it out:

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Categories: Project Chanology

You know, I’d wanted for years to have a life in and around Washington. Now, I’m going to be glad to spend a week away from it next month.

July 17, 2008, 11:25 PM

Yeah, it’s time for a change of scenery. After all, I’ve been living in Silver Spring and working in Washington for a year and two months now. Amazing how time flies. But yeah, in a little more than a month, I’m taking my vacation! I’m going to Virginia Beach, and I’m excited. You do realize I’ve not been on a get-out-of-town vacation in three years, don’t you. The last time I went was in 2005.

This one ought to be a lot of fun, though. Usually when I go to Virginia Beach, I go by myself, and tend to concentrate on my photography, with a bit of a change in scenery. And this year… new equipment! While we certainly miss Big Mavica, its optical zoom sucked. And that was a real bummer in 2004 and 2005 when I hit the beach with it, and I couldn’t get close-in ocean shots from the hotel balcony. Now mind you, I think Atlantic Sunrise in 2004 was a great photo set. But I didn’t get a lot of the close-in detail that I really enjoyed in Sunrise at Virginia Beach from 2000. The close-ups really made the earlier set special, and technical limitations prevented me from doing that again in 2004. Now I’ve got a 12x optical zoom, and different nighttime settings, so we’ll see what happens this time around.

But what really excites me is the idea of using my waterproof “duckie” camera. I’d love to take that one out into the surf and see what I can get. After all, the thing is waterproof, so we might as well make good use of it. Big Mavica, to quote Fenton Crackshell from Ducktales, was “more gizmo than duck” when it came to water. So taking “duckie” in the ocean really ought to be fun. Might even cause me to spend a little more time in the ocean than I did last time. I think last time, out of four days, I spent a grand total of three hours in the water. But yeah, with “duckie”, it ought to be fun.

Yeah, I can’t wait until August 24…

Categories: Cameras, Vacations

Even if it does just pain you to get a water cup, you’re not supposed to overtly show it…

July 16, 2008, 8:37 PM

This week, I’m not at the office as I usually would be. I’m at American University all week at Plone Bootcamp along with two of my coworkers. It’s been very interesting, as I’ve been learning about Plone, an online content management system that’s somewhat similar to a few things I’m used to, but on a far deeper level than anything I’m used to. It’s interesting, and I’ll get the hang of it. And I’ve been taking the Lappy along for this, and so we’ve been bonding all week. I figured that rather than borrow one of the Mac laptops from work, for this week, I’ll just use my own personal laptop, a Dell Inspiron.

And then meanwhile, there’s the lunch hour. I’ve had a wonderful time getting to know various other people in the class. There’s an Einstein Bros. in one of the buildings near where we’re having the class, which is where I’ve been getting lunch. And obviously, they didn’t hire the woman with the mustache working behind the counter for her personality. She is not a pleasant person. Her style is almost confrontational in asking us what kind of sandwich we wanted. After all, who are we to be asking for a meal from her? Puts me slightly on the defensive as soon as she says it. And I don’t even get a custom-built sandwich. I get the Italian chicken sandwich, where the only question I get is whether to get lettuce and tomato on it, and then I get a fruit cup with it.

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Categories: Some people, Work

I am officially a Suppressive Person!

July 14, 2008, 8:28 PM

I felt so honored today when I got home after work and found a letter at my door. I took a look at it. The letter was dated July 9, 2008, and was from the law firm of Johnson, Pope, Bokor, Ruppel & Burns. The letter indicated that their firm “has been retained by the Church of Scientology International in connection with a series of terrorist threats against Church leaders and parishioners made by an internet group known as ‘Anonymous’.”

My favorite part is near the end:

We are sending you this letter because we have reason to believe that you are associated with and have been assisting Anonymous in its campaign against the Church. In particular you were identified as participating in “Anonymous” activities against the Church in Washington, DC on June 14, 2008.

The purpose of this letter is to place you on notice that the activities of Anonymous in inciting violence against the Church and its members and engaging in acts of terrorism […] violate State and Federal law. We demand that you immediately cease all such activities. Should your organization continue inciting and/or engaging in violent acts against the Church or its members, we are prepared to take any and all steps necessary to protect our client, including referring the names of persons to State and Federal authorities.

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Categories: Project Chanology

A prostitution ring in Dupont Circle station?

July 11, 2008, 12:13 AM

That just blows my mind. Two Metro employees are accused of running a prostitution ring out of the Dupont Circle Metro station. According to the July 10, 2008 Examiner article called “Metro manager accused of prostitution agrees to life skills, education program”, station manager Sharon Waters, dubbed the “Metro Madam”, and custodian Pam Goins were accused of “arranging sexual trysts for money”, even going so far as to use the station’s PA system to “facilitate an arrangement”.

You may recall that Dupont Circle is my work station. I go through Dupont Circle station twice a day every day, and have seen both female station managers and female custodians at the station. So now I wonder if it was anyone I know, since I occasionally talk to personnel in the station, especially if I worked late and I know there won’t be a Glenmont train for a number of minutes.

Of course, the PA system part really gets me. Have you ever heard Metro station PA announcements? They’re not exactly the gold standard for clarity. In fact, most of them are downright unintelligible, particularly the ones piped in from Central Control. The announcements that originate from the station manager’s kiosk are a bit better than the ones that come from Central, but still not exactly crystal clear, especially since the primary construction material in most stations is concrete. Too many announcements sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher, i.e. completely unintelligible. Maybe those hooker announcements sounded a little better, but who knows.

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So what’s the story here?

July 2, 2008, 11:45 PM

Looks like there’s more than just Breda 3290 and 3291 as a mismatched set in Metro’s 3000 series of rail cars. Look at this:

Breda 3193 and 3218 mated together as a pair

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Categories: WMATA

“What do you know that I don’t?”

July 1, 2008, 2:22 PM

Well, the Sable’s in the shop at Lindsay Ford in Wheaton, after I had it towed there late last night. That was not a fun experience last night, but the tow guy was really helpful, meeting me at Glenmont, among other things, making it far easier.

So first thing in the morning, as I’m tying my shoes to go out, I got a call from the folks at Lindsay. They want to know what to do with the remote. I said I just need to get it programmed again, since it quit working when I had the battery replaced back in December. Okay. Pretty straightforward.

Then at around a quarter to two, I got a call from Lindsay’s sales department, as a gentleman was looking to see if I was interested in something a little newer. My exact response: “What do you know that I don’t?” Once I watched him start doing some major back-pedaling, I realized what he was up to, as service just casually gave my name to sales to try to drum up some new-car business. I nicely told him off, and that unless there’s something he knows about my car that I don’t, I’m keeping the one I’ve got, thank you very much. And more back-pedaling, and he made sure to give his name again before he said goodbye.

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Categories: Mercury Sable, Some people